Brain Power

Scientists have learned more about the brain in the last two decades than in the previous two thousand years. They found that we’re grossly underestimating what it’s capable of.

The problem is that our brains don’t come with an ownership manual. The ability to negotiate, influence, persuade, and impact aren’t taught in traditional education.

If you feel overwhelmed, like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and that you can’t keep up, do not fear. We weren’t trained to deal with the world we live in. We all grew up with a twentieth-century education that prepared us for a twentieth-century world which is symbolized by manual labor. Schools were modeled after an assembly line mentality where “one size fits all.”

Don’t get me wrong. School is an essential place to learn math, history, science, philosophy, and foreign languages, but there are no classes on how to learn, how to think, how to solve problems, how to make good decisions, how to listen, how to focus and concentrate, and how to remember things.

I can’t help but think that the “Three Rs” referring to the foundations of a basic skills-oriented education in schools: reading, writing and arithmetic does nothing but perpetuate this myth of a “one size fits all” education at the expense of a well-rounded education that fosters intellectualism and personal growth and prepares students to write well, think critically, and communicate effectively.

In my opinion, retention and recall are just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic.

As Socrates once said, “Learning is remembering.” Who wants to read something and seconds later forget what they’ve read? We’ve all heard of the “learning curve” but how about the “forgetting curve,” where within forty-eight hours of being exposed to new information as much as 85% of it vanishes into the ether of a black hole without so much as an echo?

Conventional wisdom teaches us that we learn by consuming information. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The human brain doesn’t learn by consuming information, it learns by creating information. A subtle nuance underlying this concept is that creating is active, not passive.

Therefore, my advice is to read a book instead of watching a television show; paint a picture instead of playing a video game; write a poem instead of a text message; and take a stroll through the park instead of a search through Google.

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